Find Out Your Building’s NBS Rating

Not sure what your building’s NBS rating (or Earthquake prone rating) is?

You can now easily find it out online, as The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has released a new online tool called the Register of earthquake-prone buildings (EPB Register).

You can check it out here.

The NBS is the rating given to a building as a whole to indicate its seismic standard (or the ability to withstand an earthquake). An IEP (Initial Evaluation Procedure) Assessment compares existing building’s % of structural earthquake strength relative to New Building Standard (%NBS).

“Earthquake-prone” buildings are defined as have an NBS less than 33%. Buildings deemed to be an earthquake “risk” have an NBS between 34%-66% and buildings unlikely to be an earthquake risk have an NBS of 67% or more.

This register should prove to be an interesting and insightful tool for all property owners, and it also provides the deadline for completing the seismic work on the building – although any building 67% or greater does not have a requirement to be upgraded.

If you’ve had a report done recently, and it’s higher than the percentage you see on the website (or you believe the rating given is incorrect), you can contact MBIE to let them know so they can update the website.

Many properties have not been assessed and currently have an unknown NBS rating. Here are a few ways to try and work out your situation and whether your property has been assessed.

Residential Property & Apartments
First, talk to the Body Corporate whether they have had a report completed. You can also discuss with them if they have a budget to have a report carried out on the complex.

Commercial Property Tenants
Tenants can ask their landlords if they have already had the building assessed and whether they can provide a copy of the report. If they don’t have a report, then the building would most likely have an unknown NBS rating. Either the landlord or tenant will have to engage a structural engineer to have an assessment of the building completed.

Commercial Property Landlords
If you have not engaged a structural engineer to review your building then most likely the NBS rating is unknown. In this situation, the next best step would be to talk to a local structural engineer about the cost and timing to have your building assessed. The basic report is known as an “IEP Report” and will range in cost depending on the complexity of the property, from approx $2,000 – $5,000.

Commercial Property Buyers
If you are buying a commercial property and the NBS rating is not known and the vendor cannot provide a report, then you might choose to make an offer subject to an IEP Report being completed and being at an acceptable level. The building’s NBS rating will also be a question the banks ask if you require any lending for the property.